Historical setting: 584 C.E. Ligugè
The stable master is a caldron of bubbling royal rumors, and now he is telling me of a commoner, a son of a slave, turned into a count by King Chilperic.
He goes on, “So this is how the fellow, Leudast, sleezzeled his way to the high place of being stable master for one of King Chilperic’s favorite wives.
“’… He [Leudast] was sent to service … to the royal kitchen. But as his eyes were bleared … and the bitter smoke hurt them he was removed from the pestle and promoted to the basket, but he only pretended to be happy among the fermented dough.’ [Footnote] So he was promoted again to stable master for that Queen. It was only a short step then to be assigned Count of Tours.”
The stable master adds, “His service as count only got worse after that. In the end he was executed.”
I wonder, “And the King’s men chose to tell this story to a loyal stable master?”
“Yes, humbling for me, but it was I who asked about Leudast, because I had heard of his high appointment. It seems it is Bishop Gregory who is the one keeping a cold shadow over this, using Leudast’s demise as a lesson in sins and punishments. The Bishop distains the King’s appointments of commoners. Consider King Chilperic’s most favorite wife, Queen Ferdigund was first a mere concubine.“
Thinking of my own granddaughter’s husband, Bertigan, “I was wondering about this penchant for raising commoners to higher office because I know of a count of a lesser berg than Tours. Chilperic also raised him to office of count though he had no noble inheritance.”
“Good trick if you can do it. The Bishop would say it’s against God. So the king’s apparent disrespect for nobility is just one more thing Gregory adds to Chilperic’s list of the sins.”
I mention, “But of course, the King is not the only one of noble birth here. Bishop Gregory himself is of the lineage of Florantinus, so his opinion may be more personal than holy. I mean, Jesus himself was a commoner.”
“Hardly” the stable monk argues back, “Jesus was a king, born in the lineage of David…”
“As was said of most of the Pharisee Jews of the times.”
“But Jesus is seated on a great throne of heaven at the right hand of God. Isn’t that right, Brother? Surely you’ve heard the gospels.”
[Footnote] A History of the Franks, Book V, #48, by Gregory of Tours, Translated by Ernest Brehaut, (reprint from First Rate Publisher).
(Continues Tuesday, September 14)